I-Bhd inks deal with Everbright to develop last parcels of i-City

PETALING JAYA (Dec 13): I-Bhd has inked an agreement with Everbright International China to co-develop the remaining 30 acres of land in i-City, Shah Alam.

Everbright will hold a 70% stake in the deal, while I-Bhd will hold the remaining 30%.

Under the agreement, Everbright will finance the entire construction and lead a consortium of China-based companies to set up operations in i-City, while I-Bhd would be responsible for providing the land, as well as ensuring that the subsequent development would continue to be certified as an MSC Malaysia Cybercentre and a tourism destination.

The consortium will also be responsible for marketing the commercial hub in China.

According to I-Bhd group chief executive officer Datuk Eu Hong Chew, the value of the JV is not only in having Everbright as a co-developer, but Everbright will also be spearheading a consortium of other Chinese investors to work with i-City. "We are honoured to be able to work with a Chinese company, following investments by Australia's Servcorp Ltd and Al Rajhi Bank in i-City."

I-Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong said that the strategic alliance with Everbright was in-line with the Selangor state government's vision of transforming Shah Alam into an international metropolitan city.

Everbright chairman and chief executive officer Zhang Huaipu said Everbright was seeking more investment opportunities in Malaysia.

The development on the 30 acre site will be undertaken in two phases, involving 14 acres of land taken up for the initial phase and the balance in the subsequent phase. The total gross development value (GDV) of the entire project is tagged at RM3.5 billion, and the project is set to be completed in 2020.

The first phase of the development is set to be launched in the second quarter of 2012. lt will feature a commercial hub with a GDV of RM1.5 billion, comprising of a shopping mall of one million sq ft, as well as two million sq ft of mixed residential units, MSC offices and educational institutes. The shopping mall will be within a 4-storey podium, while the residential, MSC offices and education components will be located within four towers on top of the podium. The podium block is expected to be completed by 2014, in time to utilise the direct interchange access from the Federal Highway into i-City.

The tower blocks are expected to be completed by 2016, which is when the second phrase is expected to be launched.

Everbright has already roped-in a China-based multimedia company which will anchor the animation centre in i-City, and a Confucius Institute in China that will spearhead the educational component. The Bank of China, which currently operates in Malaysia, is also part of this consortium.

The mall component is part of i-City's tourism programme, which complements the existing attractions such as the LED lightscapes, the Snowalk Arctic Wonderland and the various theme park rides into the mall. There are also ongoing plans to upgrade the portion of Sungai Rasau that flows on the southern boundary of the project site to create a riverfront food and leisure destination along the lines of Singapore's Clarke Quay development.

Everbright International Construction Engineering Corporation (EICEC) was founded in 1994, with assets totalling 133.46 million yuan (RM66.82 million). The company has several subsidiary companies and consist of eight construction enterprises. It has projects spanning ten different provinces all over China.

(From left): Bank of China (Malaysia) Bhd president Zheng JingBo, Lim, Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, Zhang and Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Chai Xi at the signing ceremony.

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